Motorcycles can be a fun, fuel-efficient transportation alternative to a traditional car. However, in the event of a crash, motorcyclists are much more likely than car drivers to sustain serious personal injuries. And, unfortunately, these kinds of accidents are on the rise. In 2015, the Governors Highway Safety Association reported that over 5,000 people died in motorcycle accidents across the U.S., which is nearly an all-time record. The best way to avoid motorcycle injuries is to be prepared and follow these summer safety tips for motorcyclists.
7 Summer Safety Tips for Motorcyclists
Motorcycle accidents are a particular danger in the summer, when more people tend to dust off their bikes and hit the road. Traffic accidents in general increase in the summer, as people head out on vacations or travel to the local pool or park. To stay safe on the busy summer roads in Missouri and Illinois, follow these safety tips:
- Make sure you are comfortable with your bike. If you are a new rider or just haven’t been on a bike in a while, make sure you get a feel for your motorcycle before you hit the highway or a busy road during rush hour.
- Get anti-lock brakes. A bike can easily skid out of control if you slam on the brakes, but an anti-lock brake system will help you keep control of your bike. Anti-lock brakes can reduce your risk of a fatal motorcycle accident by as much as 37 percent, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
- Wear a helmet. Despite the fact that Illinois has no mandatory helmet law and Missouri has tried to get its law repealed almost every year, you should always wear a helmet when riding. Part of the reason that 2015 saw such a high number of motorcycle deaths is that several states repealed their helmet laws. A helmet cannot protect you from all injury, but will definitely reduce your risk of serious head and brain injuries.
- Get some actual motorcycle gear. Even in the heat of the summer, you should be wearing long sleeves, long pants, goggles and sturdy boots when riding. Invest in heavy materials and clothes designed specifically to protect you from scrapes and cuts in the event of a crash. Plus, the brighter your gear is, the more likely you are to be seen and avoided by drivers of other vehicles.
- Enroll in higher motorcycle education courses. Even if you’ve been riding for years, there is always something you can learn. See if there are any motorcycle safety courses in your area, and spend the day on a closed course with some motorcycle experts. Usually, you can take different classes depending on your level of skill.
- If it’s raining, take the sedan. Rain and other bad weather makes motorcycle riding even more hazardous. You cannot see as far or as well, and your tires may slip or slide more easily. Plus, strong winds can make staying upright difficult. If possible, drive another vehicle if the weather looks dicey.
- Don’t drink; don’t speed. According to the IIHS, nearly 50 percent of fatal motorcycle accidents involve speeding, and over 40 percent involve alcohol. Don’t take those risks. Drive sober and follow the speed limit.
Our Missouri and Illinois personal injury attorneys have decades of experience helping motorcycle accident victims in the St. Louis area. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation. The information provided by Walton Telken, LLC in this Blog is not intended to be legal advice, but merely provides general information related to common legal issues. This Blog, and the information contained within it, is Attorney Advertisement. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements. Past results afford no guarantee of future results. Every case is different and must be judged on its own merits.